Benjamin Franklin’s Bastard
- Publisher: William Morrow (May 7, 2013)
- ISBN-10: 0062241923
- ISBN-13: 978-0062241924
About the book . . .
Sally Cabot lives in Brewster, Massachusetts, with her husband, Tom. A lifelong resident of New England, she is active in the local historical society and creates tours that showcase the three-hundred-year history of her village.
Reader review . . .
Born and raised in the poverty of Eades Alley, sixteen-year old Anne is happy to find employment as a serving girl at the Penny Pot tavern. She quickly realizes there is more than one way to earn money there. When she meets the young printer Benjamin Franklin, she has met someone who not only adds to her finances, but to her mind. When she becomes pregnant with his child, he is not free to marry her because of his previous commitment to Deborah Read, his common-law wife. Franklin convinces Anne that their son, William, would have a better opportunity in life if he and Deborah raised the child. Over the years, Anne watches her child as he grows up confused as to his parentage, with a stepmother who cannot accept him.
Historical fiction can be tricky. The novelist begins with whatever truths are known regarding the subject and then proceeds to build a story around the truth. Conversations are invented, historical gaps are filled, and sometimes characters are created. This is the case with Benjamin Franklin’s Bastard. The identity of William Franklin’s mother has never been known, but the author has used the known rumors and theories of the day to create the character of Anne. She has done an excellent job of making a little-known part of American history interesting and understandable, while preserving the accuracy of historical facts.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Edelweiss book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”